Marines, their families, and civilians who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina at any point between 1953 and 1987 and developed cancer, lost babies, or developed other serious health problems may qualify for significant compensation due to exposure to harmful chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water supply.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden as part of the Honoring Our PACT Act. It allows anyone who spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987 and became ill to submit a claim for compensation for the unjust harm they suffered.
A million or more servicemembers and civilians were exposed to drinking water at Camp Lejeune contaminated with toxic chemicals. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the federal government will pay more than $6 billion in Camp Lejeune contaminated water claims in the coming years. This is not a Veterans Administration program.
If you or a loved one spent time at Camp Lejeune and developed unexplained health problems later in life, the attorneys of Sam & Ash Injury Law in Las Vegas, NV, can help you determine whether your health problems were likely caused by toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune water. If so, you deserve What’s Right. We can help you seek the compensation available by law. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act establishes a two-step process and a deadline for filing a federal lawsuit to seek compensation. Our attorneys can assess your claim at no charge.
Who Can Claim Compensation for Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
The new federal law makes compensation available to individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 31, 1987, if they had certain types of cancer, birth injuries, or other illnesses linked to contaminated drinking water found on the base.
Many former servicemembers and their families who spent time at Camp Lejeune eventually settled in Nevada or California.
The law says any individual or the representative of any individual who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) is eligible for compensation.
Potential claimants under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 include:
- Marines formerly posted at Camp Lejeune
- Service members formerly stationed at nearby Marine Corps Air Station New River and MCAS Cherry Point who also trained at Camp Lejeune
- National Guardsmen who trained at Camp Lejeune
- Army Reservists who trained at Camp Lejeune
- Family members of Marines or other servicemembers, including children born with birth injuries
- Civilians employed at Camp Lejeune schools, the hospital, or the Marine Corps exchanges (MCXs).
- Civilian contractors who worked on base
- Survivors of deceased individuals with exposure, including women who suffered miscarriages and parents of babies stillborn or born with birth injuries.
In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered a variety of toxic chemicals in the drinking water provided by two of eight water treatment plants serving Camp Lejeune, which is near Jacksonville, North Carolina.
After multiple studies, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determined that exposure to the toxic chemicals detected in drinking water at Camp Lejeune could cause multiple types of cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and other serious issues.
Toxins found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune were primarily dispersed in water supplied by the Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace water treatment plants on the base. Hadnot Point also supplied water to housing on the Holcomb Boulevard water system full-time until 1972 and periodically until 1987.
These water treatment plants supplied contaminated water to Camp Lejeune including:
- Family housing for enlisted servicemembers
- Barracks for unmarried servicemembers
- Base administrative offices
- Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune
- Schools on base
- Recreational areas on base
How To Claim Compensation for Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Individuals or survivors of individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 may file civil lawsuits for injuries caused by contaminated water on the Marine base.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act states that lawsuits will be subject to “administrative adjustment” under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This means that Camp Lejeune water contamination claims must be submitted first to the Department of the Navy to review. The Navy will have six months to offer a settlement or deny the claim. After six months or upon receiving a denial, the person submitting the claim may proceed with a federal lawsuit.
The law establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit:
- Two years from the date the law was enacted— August 10, 2024
Our attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you gather military records or employment records to establish that you were at Camp Lejeune during the 1953-1987 timeframe. We would obtain your medical records and engage medical experts to review your records and offer testimony about whether your health condition was related to the toxins found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Your evidence must show that the relationship between your exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune and the harm you have suffered is:
- Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists; or
- Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not
Your right to compensation would be established by submitting such evidence as:
- Medical records
- Death certificate of a loved one
- DD 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty to document a servicemember’s time at Camp Lejeune
- Social Security or tax records to establish civilian employment/residence at Camp Lejeune or nearby
Your attorney from Sam & Ash Injury Law in Las Vegas would work with you to gather this information and compile it for filing in court.
Health Issues Associated with Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The National Research Council Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune said in 2009 that toxic chemicals in the groundwater on base included:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE), a manufactured chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing
- Trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent used to clean metal parts, such as weapons and heavy machinery
- Vinyl chloride, which forms when PCE and TCE break down
- Benzene, which is used to make other chemicals found in plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers
- Toluene, a common ingredient in degreasers
The presence of PCE in drinking water at Camp Lejeune was attributed to improper disposal of dry cleaning fluid at an off-base dry cleaner that began operating in 1953. TCE, vinyl chloride, benzene, and toluene were in groundwater due to spills and other unsafe storage practices and leaking underground storage tanks on the base.
The ATSDR, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has determined that exposure to the toxic chemicals detected in drinking water at Camp Lejeune can cause:
- Adult Leukemia
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Aplastic Anemia and other bone marrow conditions
- Multiple Myeloma and other Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Renal Toxicity
- Birth defects and birth injuries, including low birth weight, oral cleft defects (including cleft lip), major malformations, and fetal death
If you have developed any serious health condition or had a miscarriage or a child with birth injuries and were at Camp Lejeune between the summer of 1953 and the end of 1987, you should contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free legal consultation as soon as possible.
Potential Settlements for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not specify the amount to be paid to those exposed to contaminated drinking water at the Marine Corps base. It says those affected may seek to obtain appropriate relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects spending $6.1 billion between 2022 and 2031 to compensate victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination. Compensation is likely to be paid as reimbursement for medical costs, lost income/earning potential, and noneconomic pain-and-suffering damages, as well as for wrongful death where applicable.
Any prior payment a plaintiff has received as Veterans Administration benefits, Medicare, or Medicaid in connection with health care or a disability relating to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune may be deducted from a settlement or jury award.
The intent of Congress and the President in passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is for victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination who suffered serious harm to be compensated. Camp Lejeune water contamination victims deserve What’s Right. There will be thousands of individual claims filed including many by residents of Nevada and California who spent time at Camp Lejeune at some point in their lives.
There is no reason to delay getting started with the claims process. It won’t cost you anything to have an attorney review your records and discuss your legal options.
Schedule A Free Case Review With Our Experienced Camp Lejeune Attorneys
If you lived at or near the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 and have developed cancer or another chronic illness or lost a loved one to Camp Lejeune water contamination, contact Sam & Ash Injury Law in Las Vegas, Nevada, as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to review your situation and discuss whether you may qualify to file a Camp Lejeune claim. If you have a valid claim, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay any legal fee unless we recover money for you.
Our team is ready to take your call 24/7. Don’t wait to seek the compensation that has been set aside for you. Contact us now.